Index ← 3883 CFJ 3884 3884 → text
===============================  CFJ 3884  ===============================

      The Lunar Laser Ranging experiment is a forum.

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Caller:                        G.
Barred:                        Falsifian

Judge:                         Aris

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History:

Called by G.:                                     06 Sep 2020 19:18:00
Assigned to Shelvacu:                             13 Sep 2020 19:12:54
Shelvacu recused:                                 27 Sep 2020 16:19:17
Assigned to Aris:                                 27 Sep 2020 18:23:41
Motion to Extend filed:                           03 Oct 2020 07:55:39
Aris on extended deadline:                        04 Oct 2020 18:23:41

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Caller's Arguments:

On 9/6/2020 11:43 AM, Falsifian via agora-business wrote:
> Registrar's opinion:
>
> The Lunar Laser Ranging experiment is not a forum, so it does not have
> an instance of the Publicity switch, so the new Emergency Regulation
> didn't do anything.
>
> Even if the experiment can be used for communication, it would be a
> stretch to call it a "place for discussion" or a "message board"
> (Wiktionary: "forum").

Looking at the peer-reviewed literature linked to:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Laser_Ranging_experiment

It looks like it would be possible, with reasonable effort, to write a
protocol giving instructions on using this medium for communications
(access to equipment is not relevant, any more than access to email
clients is part of email forum determination).  For example, Bender, P.
L.; et al. (1973). Science. 182 (4109): 229–238 gives a full description
of the method.  All that is needed is:

> - a powerful laser, typically a few watts, with substantial
> pulse energy;
> - sub-arcsecond intrinsic divergence, meaning a launch
> beam diameter exceeding 10 cm;
> - sub-arcsecond pointing and tracking capability;
> - large collection aperture for the return;
> - aggressive filtering in the temporal, spatial, and
> wavelength domains.
> Additionally, the laser pulsewidth should be <100 ps so that
> it does not compete with the reflector-induced spread in the
> overall error budget.

As such, it is an "open" forum ready for communication, even if the gear
is not set up or accessible.

Specifics aside, it would be useful to get a functional definition of a
forum, and whether (in a general sense) a powered instrument or regulation
can define one regardless of the existence of a reliable access method -
i.e. can a scam define a forum that's functionally inaccessible, or is
that blocked by the common definition?

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Gratuitous Arguments by Falsifian:

After thinking about your argument, I changed my mind and agree that
it's a forum.

I was going to object that even though the Lunar Ranging Experiment
*could* be used for communication, that's not its normal use and so
nobody would ever call it a "forum" the way we call e.g. an email list a
"communication forum". But it occurs to me that requiring fora to
already be used for communication could create a bootstrapping problem
if we ever did want to use something even slightly unconventional as a
public or discussion forum, so it's probably best to interpret "forum"
broadly.

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